All Articles
All Articles

Yahoo! News Digest App

18-year-old Nick D’Aloisio uses his Summly technology to bring condensed news to your mobile phone in a smart format

by Nara Shin
on 22 January 2014

With our smartphones in our pocket wherever we go, keeping up with world headlines requires just a single tap. But standing in line at the grocery store or distractedly waiting to board a plane aren't the most convenient times to absorb long-form news articles. We want to stay informed while on the go—but need some middle ground between 140 characters and the average length of a New York Times article.

We've been using the news digest app Circa (which breaks down top stories into the most important, bite-size points) since its debut in December 2012, but an app that launched at CES 2014 looks to be a potential competitor. The surprise is that it comes from Yahoo!, whose future has, ironically, been a favorite topic for media outlets since Marissa Mayer took over more than year ago.

yahoo-news-digest-2.jpg yahoo-news-digest-1.jpg

Using Yahoo! News Digest since CES, what immediately distinguishes the app is that rather than the infinite scroll found in most feeds, there is a clear beginning and end. For example, today, 22 January, there are nine numbered stories to read; at the end of each summarized piece is a list of references should users want to explore the topic further. The app updates just twice daily, to coincide with morning and evening commutes. Rather than sift through a continuously updated news site within a web browser, it's refreshing to read a finite number of articles—and that means saving the "down the internet rabbit hole" experience for our computers at home.

yahoo-news-digest-4.jpg yahoo-news-digest-5.jpg

While Circa depends on a team of editors around the world to break down each article, Yahoo! has "automation summarization" technology to give it a leg up. In March 2013, Yahoo acquired the app Summly, making its founder, British computer programmer Nick D’Aloisio, a multi-millionaire before he had graduated from high school. Now Yahoo!'s Product Manager, D’Aloisio oversaw the development of Yahoo! News Digest, which built upon Summly's algorithms. At the DLD conference in Munich, Germany (which concluded yesterday), journalist and blogger Richard Gutjahr interviewed the 18-year-old "news wunderkind" about his passion for news, whether there was a need for journalists, the main mission of Yahoo! and more. We highly recommend checking it out for a glimpse into D’Aloisio's mind.

The Yahoo! News Digest app is available for free download on iOS devices.

Photos by Nara Shin

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye
Loading More...